ASSAF and UNESCO host workshop on open-access journal publishing

5 October 2011, 08:25

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The Academy of Science of South Africa and UNESCO hosted a two-day workshop on open-access journal publishing at the Academy of Science of South Africa in Pretoria on 18 and 19 August 2011.

The 24 participants comprised editors of local and regional scholarly journals from southern Africa (Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland). The aim of the workshop was to enlighten journal editors about the challenges and benefits of open-access publishing and empower them to adopt an open-access publishing model for their journal.

The themes discussed and presented by the editors were:

  • Challenges and problems facing journal editors today
  • Sharing best practices in the editorial process
  • Current open-access journals and developing an open-access model and business plan

The last session was devoted to a demonstration of Open Journal Systems, which is an open-source manuscript management and publishing system used to publish journals online – a gateway to open-access publishing.

Presenters shared the challenges they face as editors of scholarly journals and in considering and adopting an open-access model, as well as possible solutions to these challenges.

Whilst all editors accepted the benefits of open access in principle, it was acknowledged that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. A sub-committee of editors will be convened to discuss how some approaches can be implemented within South Africa.